Better Food for a Better World: A Novel

Overview

Ideals and reality collide when six college friends band together to start an ice cream store, promising "Better Food for a Better World," but finding a worse world than they had expected.

It seems like a great idea: six friends from college pool their money and energy to start an ice cream store. Natural High Ice Cream: Better Food for a Better World. It's high-minded, with a wink, like the marital self-help group they all belong to. The ...

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Better Food for a Better World: A Novel

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Overview

Ideals and reality collide when six college friends band together to start an ice cream store, promising "Better Food for a Better World," but finding a worse world than they had expected.

It seems like a great idea: six friends from college pool their money and energy to start an ice cream store. Natural High Ice Cream: Better Food for a Better World. It's high-minded, with a wink, like the marital self-help group they all belong to. The store finds a ready clientele in its northern California college town filled with amiable ex-hippies who are happy to contribute to a better world, even if all they have to contribute is the price of an ice cream cone.

But the store, like the marriage group, turns out to be work, not fun, and rifts start to appear between the friends. Nancy, who had seemed so easygoing and sweetly sexy when they started, turns stern. Cecilia, who had wanted to be a musician, is openly bored. And flighty, excitable Vivy is crawling out of her skin. She yearns for the old days, before Natural High, when she and her husband Sam traveled around the country with countercultural musicians and dancers. She'd give anything to have those days back again.

And so quietly, without telling the partners, she starts to rev up the old company, contacting her old acts—the fat contortionist, the muscle-bound juggler. She's going to save them all, and Natural High, too. But saving turns out to be harder than it looks, and Vivy isn't the only one with secrets.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The debut novel of a new literary fiction imprint relates the tale of three couples who start an ice cream shop in northern California to make the world a better place through their socially aware business. (The napkins bear mottoes like "Our goal is not gold.") One of the six partners, Vivy Jilet, is restless, and resurrects the old business she and her husband Sam formerly had, booking countercultural performers. Vivy's is not the only decision that shakes up the working relationships the couples have forged. McGraw (The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard) has a light hand with serious themes involving relationships and livelihood. She is deft with humor; her satire of green, aware living is funny without being snarky and is tempered by a generosity toward human foibles. Her characters are memorable, recognizable, quirky; the overweight contortionist Teeny Marteeny is a gem. McGraw is fresh and funny. (Mar.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620326688
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/2013
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Erin McGraw is the author of five earlier books, the novels The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard and The Baby Tree, and the story collections The Good Life, Lies of the Saints, and Bodies at Sea. Her stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Good Housekeeping, The Kenyon Review, Allure, Image, The Southern Review, STORY, The Georgia Review, and many other journals and magazines. She has taught at DePauw University and the University of Cincinnati, and currently teaches at the Ohio State University with her husband, the poet Andrew Hudgins. They divide their time between Ohio and Sewanee, Tennessee.

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